How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask SASH_Law Your Own Question
SASH_Law
SASH_Law, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1150
Experience:  LLB (Hons)
96947008
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
SASH_Law is online now

Is it possible to get legal aid for a divorce, Yes, we are

This answer was rated:

Is it possible to get legal aid for a divorce
JA: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?
Customer: Yes, we are actually renently divorced. Now we need to sort things out. Wrong way around I know.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Hampshire
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We divorced because my wife has come out as gay. I agreed (in a less than ideal mental state) that for the purposes of the divorce she could site my lower income and financial contribution.

Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.

 

If you are already divorced, may I ask what you require legal aid for?

 

Please bear in mind this is an email service and not a live chat so responses may not be instantaneous. I am not available for calls, but in all cases it is very likely you can be helped online.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
We did not really agree anything formally before the divorce. I'd rather avoid court but feeling somewhat railroaded at the moment.

You mean you are hoping for legal aid in relation to resolving the financial settlement?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Yes, I guess so. There are three children and family home to agree on.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
We informally agreed with no real detail. It now feels like I'm being manipulated. Prior to the divorce I was being treated for mental health issues which are on going. I feel I have not been in the best place to fight my corner.

I am sorry to have to tell you that legal aid is only available in very limited circumstances for private family law - those limited circumstances being that you have suffered domestic abuse of some kind during the relationship. You can see here for further information: https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid and to check eligibility: https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

 

In addition, even if you find that you are entitled to legal aid due to any previous abuse, any capital (or property) or other items of value, will be taken into account and you could be asked to contribute to the legal aid cost, or they could take a charge over your property. Legal aid isn't really free anymore, even for those most in need.

 

Mediation is often the best way to resolve financial settlements - it is less expensive than using lawyers. You can find a mediator here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/

 

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Yes, you've answered my qestion re legal aid. I just need some direction with regards how to proceed.

In relation to how to make a financial claim?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Is there anything relating to divorce/family law and mental health? I would normally be able to deal with these things and work my way through but feel I'm the weaker party in this situation and want to avoid agreeing to anything I will later regret.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
"In relation to how to make a financial claim?" - no, more that there is no legal assistance available.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I already agreed to the divorce on the grounds of me being unreasonable (by earning less than expected). I'm regretting that already.

If you read the link regarding legal aid, you will see under what circumstances it is available. It is likely in order to obtain any assistance related to mental health issues that you'd have to be deemed to not have capacity to act on your own. To have that assessed you'd need to see your GP or seek the assistance of a solicitor specialised in mental health issues who would be able to guide you further.

 

You can find solicitors here, where you can search by your location and area of law: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

 

Please accept and rate positively using the five stars at the top of your screen as that is how I am paid for assisting you today. Thank you.

SASH_Law and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for your help. I have been under the care of my GP and the local NHS acute mental health team and now in therapy (it's been a year and a half like none I've experinced before!). I assume this would be a good starting point for assessement. Thanks again for the pointers.

Yes, it should certainly be a starting point.

 

If all else fails, you could try Advocate - they are barristers who can represent people in court on a pro bono basis, but you will need to be referred by your MP, CAB or a legal advice clinic. See here: https://weareadvocate.org.uk/